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Shenmue 3’s in-engine trailer divides fans

While fans will have a long wait on their hands for Shenmue 3, a new trailer has arrived showcasing the first in-engine footage from the upcoming title. While the video is likely to divide its fan base on what to expect, it is a blessing for those that backed the Kickstarter campaign in that the game is making progress towards a final product.

Many have taken to criticise the newest trailer, noting that the graphics and style aren’t in keeping with the PS4 generation. Characters are blocky, emotions are static and textures do seem to fall flat. Of course, this isn’t all there is to games, as the Shenmue series is highly regarded despite being a commercial failure in terms of revenue. This cult following paved way for a successful crowdfunding campaign, making the third game possible.

Each Shenmue game has had a distinct art style and none have particularly gone the route of photo-realism. That being said, they have always been ahead of the curve in terms of aesthetic, which is why the visuals displayed in the trailer are all the more questionable.

A reason for this might be the value of nostalgia, which creator, Yu Suzuki, has pegged as the primary focus of Shenmue 3. “One of the themes, the main feelings that you get from the game is a feeling of nostalgia,” Suzuki told Eurogamer. “That’s one of the special qualities of Shenmue, and the fact it was one of the first open world games. That theme, that feeling of nostalgia, continues in all the games.”

These visuals could be the make or break of the game, but it’s not all bad as the trailer undoubtedly features beautifully detailed landscapes shown via the new screenshots above, not to mention the wonderful track behind it. Shenmue 3 is set to arrive late 2018 after a delay, giving the developers a whole year using the new backing of publisher Deep Silver to give fans what they truly deserve.

KitGuru Says: With Shenmue 3 set to fully focus on nostalgia, I hope it doesn’t emulate its predecessor 2 much as the series has experienced enough development hell in its time. Here’s hoping that all that patience pays off for the fans. Did you back the upcoming game? Do you plan to buy Shenmue 3 next year?

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